The Gardener: developing the commons

We invite everyone to think and explore with us how the Amstelpark can be maintained and managed in the coming time.
Tuinbazen is a project in which artist Irene Fortuyn and her foundation Ketter&Co conduct research to the way in which a park can be maintained communally.Tuinbazen is the result of the artistic research in the Amstelpark that Irene Fortuyn has done in 2016 on the invitation of Zone2Source, which developed into the exhibitionDe Tuin en De Tuinman in January 2017.
This lead to a longterm project in which the parks of Amsterdam are researched and mapped. What is the nature and culture of the parks of Amsterdam? Who uses them and what for? Who takes care of the parks and how? And how visible is the gardener for the visitor of the park? These are some of the questions that guide the project Tuinbazen.  

Last year, Zone2Source invited Irene Fortuyn again for a year long experiment to make of the Amstelpark an experimental garden, which commenced in January 2018. The first step is bringing attention to the maintenance of the park, which is barely visible for the park visitor. How can maintenance and management be brought into view? What happens in a park throughout the different months and seasons, and who are the caretakers?
On September 1 during the Zomerfeest Amstelpark the Tuinbazen will be present from 12 – 5 PM to engage visitors in the maintenance of the park with various activities. In October and November the Bezemdialogen will take place in which we invite stakeholders from various backgrounds to engage in conversations about our research into new models of maintenance and commonuality.

Photos door Jan Steenman


Ketter&Co strives towards involving and engaging gardeners, users and policy makers in order to create more horizontal forms of management, and in this way to increase the quality of the parks of Amsterdam. This is done through research on the usage of and care for the parks, the colors, smells, materials, flora and fauna, activities, languages, garbage, ways of communicating and parties in the park. 

The coming months, Tuinbazen will come into focus in, amongst others, the following activities 
  • Maintenance Calender Amstelpark
    A monthly calendar of maintenance activities that are executed in the Amstelpark. This calendar will be applied on the ground close to the entrance of the park using chalk, and includes references to specific locations in the park to make the maintenance activities visible for the users of the park.

  • Flowers for the Mayor
    Each month, a bouquet of flowers growing in the Amstelpark and other parks of Amsterdam, will be sent to Femke Halsema, mayor of Amsterdam.

  • Waste Guirlands
    Ketter&Co invited visitors and locals to pick up the trash that is being left behind in the park during their strolls. This waste was made into guirlands, who are on show next to the Rietveldhuis.
  • Cutting the Roses
    During three sessions, visitors got a chance to cut the roses in the Amstelpark with the Tuinbazen! The Tuinbazen gave the volounteers the right directions, which allowed them to make the roses shine again. Many volounteers, including a high school class, were eager to help the Tuinbazen.
  • The Tuinbazen Activity Lorry
    The Tuinbazen lorry is filled with activities and placed next to the Glazen Huis! Make sure to come by on a sunny afternoon to play Tuinbazen memory games or get creative in other ways! The Tuinbazen Lorry was also part of the We Make The City Festival. People from all over Amsterdam visited the Amstelpark and took part in special activities.
  • Cutting the Rodondendrons
    As a part of the We Make The City Festival, volounteers were invited to cut the rodondendrons and get to know a little more about these plants in a fun way.
  • Broom Dialogues
    Multiple dialogues with Tuinbazen, policy makers, locals, visitors of the Amstelpark, academics, artists and other who have a perspective on the questions a park raises, will be held. The dialogues will take place according to the Socrates method on invitation in September and October 2019.

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